Leyte Needs Love Trip Recap!

We knew the moment the plane landed in Tacloban that our lives would be forever changed by our time there. It was as if we had landed in a war zone. The airport was a mere shell of what it once was, now reduced to an open air pavilion. The once beautiful beaches were black with ocean muck. Coconut trees were broken off like twigs. Well-built beachside homes had been obliterated, as if by a wrecking ball. It seemed as if life had been removed from this place. It was very easy to get caught up in the hopelessness of it all. But it wasn't long before we saw a different picture - one of a faithful God and of His faithful remnant of people in that city. Read more...


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“More Please!”

I remember that one of the first words our son Blaine ever learned was the word more. Following after Daddy’s example, this word was used most often at dinnertime. It all started when Mindy taught him the word in sign language before he could speak. Not too far down the road, he learned to actually say it. But the word came out a little more demanding and a lot less cute than the sign seemed. He would say “MORE" for more banana, “MORE" for a refill of milk, and “MORE" for another helping of eggs. Well, over time we worked with his limited vocabulary and taught him to say, “More, please”. For Blaine, using this sweet phrase got Mommy and Daddy’s attention in a much quicker fashion. There had been nothing wrong with his previous request. It was the way he had been asking. I wonder if God often hears our request the same way. Usually when we ask the wrong way, we ask for the wrong things. Lord I want “MORE” stuff, “MORE” success, “MORE” status. Requests like these show us for who we really are. It shows where our priorities lie. God desires that we ask, but what are we to ask for… and in what manner? In Luke 17, the chapter begins with Jesus instructing his disciple on some hard issues. He speaks about the requirements of forgiveness and servant hood. In the midst of these teachings, the disciples must have felt a little overwhelmed by what Jesus was saying. We read their response in verse five, “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith." They were simply asking, “More, please. Lord, please give us more faith”. They asked the right way, and they asked for the right thing. When was the last time you asked for “more” of the spiritual. The disciples asked for “more faith." Do you need more faith? Maybe you need “more” peace, “more” hope, “more” joy. These are things worth asking for "more!" These are the things God is waiting to give you. So what have you asked God for lately, and how did you ask for it? We all want “more”… but more of what? May we daily continue to ask God for “more” ... but more of the right things!

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To Fight or Forsake

To be, or not to be, that is the question.” These are the famous words from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. And the meaning behind that question is this: “To live or to die, which is better?” What a low point to be at in life. I’m sure that many men and women without hope have asked this same question at some point. But as Christians, we have hope! We have great reason to live! We are on earth to engage in a Heavenly conflict for the souls of men, and we fight to win this battle. Paul, after spending his best years for Christ, said in 2 Timothy 4:6-7, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”.  There was no question for Paul. He had spent his life for the best cause imaginable – fighting the good faith of faith.  He had no regrets. While Paul had been fighting, we find another man a few verses later that had forsaken the cause. In verse 10, Paul sadly states, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world”.  There was a point were Demas was serving Christ, but at some point, he forsook the fight he knew was right. He gave up. He quit on Paul and on Jesus. I’m sure Demas had regrets. We today as Christians will be as Paul or a Demas. At some point a similar question to the one in Hamlet will come to you – “To Fight or to Forsake?” Which will you choose? In Hamlet, the question was raised as to life or death, but really for Christians, it’s the same conclusion. If you fight for Christ, you will live spiritually. God will stay by your side, and with His help, you will be victorious. If you forsake Christ, you will die spiritually. Though you will never lose your salvation, you will lose and forsake the joys of victory in this life. The chance for victory will slip away and perish. What a waste of a life that Christ wants to use! He saved you to be in the fight! So today, resolve in your own heart that quitting on God or His church is not an option. Stay in the fight and never forsake Him.  Paul battled long and hard for the Lord, and in the end, His eyes were still on final victory. In verse 8, he says, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day…”        So will you fight or forsake? I hope in this New Year you strive to fight on for victory.

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